After watching a typical workout video every morning for a month or so, bad things start to happen. You find yourself humming the once-energizing Muzak on your morning commute. You begin telling others to "feel the burn" at the damnedest times. And eventually, a sense of dread kicks in just thinking about all those women in matching leotards.
Not so with local "punk-rock Pilates" instructor Christine Gladney's Naughty Pilates DVD, in which the traditional posture-improving methods of exercise guru Joseph Pilates mingle with the tawdry world of burlesque. At worst, you may find yourself craving a martini mid-workout.
Gladney plays exercise vixen Sophie Couch, and her pals take names like Fanny LaFay, Panties von Hendrix, and Fantasy Landis. Wearing slinky lingerie or cocktail dresses and stilettos, the girls demonstrate Pilates moves atop the bars at the Beauty Shop, Earnestine and Hazel's, and Young Avenue Deli or on the hood of a pink Cadillac.
Martini shakers are substituted for weights and traditional exercises are given new names, like "Kiss Your Lover," "The Corkscrew," and "The Drunken Baby." Two guys designated "The Cabana Boys" appear occasionally to refill martini glasses. As a disclaimer, Gladney warns viewers at home, "These aren't real martinis, silly."
She also recommends not working out in stilettos -- advice that rings true when Fanny LaFay's heel comes flying off, hitting her in the noggin during a kicking exercise called "The Can-Can."
Before switching to the wacky bar scenes, Gladney demonstrates each move first in an actual workout setting to ensure viewers understand proper positioning and breathing techniques. This makes the DVD useful as a workout, not just a kitschy novelty.
Viewers are in for a special treat when Marny Star demonstrates a leg kick called "The Mermaid." Wearing a nautical-inspired bikini top and a glittery fin, she works out atop the bar at Anderton's while local roots-rocker Amy LaVere (of Amy & the Tramps) sings a seafaring song and Gladney strums a ukulele.
The entire DVD is set to local music that plays like a hipster soundtrack. Scenes are set to original music from the Preacher's Kids, Jeffrey Evans, the Oblivians, Redondo Beat, Mr. Airplane Man, Lorette Velvette, '68 Comeback, and Gladney's own band, Sugarpush.
With Naughty Pilates, the days of dreading the daily workout are over, and with its über-hip soundtrack, you can forget all about that cheesy workout music from your Jane Fonda days. So strap on some stilettos and fix yourself a stiff drink. It's "burlates" time!
For more information, see NaughtyPilates.net.